Who is the answer to the Santi Cazorla Question?

Who is a Santi Cazorla? by Usmanov

A Santi Cazorla is a highly intelligent, talented and industrious Arsenal midfielder who is able to play the deep-lying central midfield role to perfection. His talent is most suited to teams that like to control games while at the same time effectively transitioning from defense to attack. His skill set includes – but is not limited to

a) Extraordinary ball control

b) Superb vision and an excellent range of passing ability.

Most of all, he is a creative thinker and he can think quickly on his feet. His calmness and composure on the ball is highly remarkable. And he is able to expertly use his skill set in situations that include:

a) Constantly making himself available for a pass. He is almost always an outlet for his teammates.

b) Transitioning defense to attack from deep in his own half by holding the ball long enough to allow time for his teammates to occupy available space and move into dangerous positions.

Do we need a Santi Cazorla?

Simply YES. Yes we do.

It is obvious from the way we played before he moved into playing the deep-lying central midfield position. Our ball possession statistics was always high, but we were not controlling games in the real sense of the word. In attack too, the team was not as threatening as it became when Santi moved into deep midfield.

Our central midfield pivot was solid and balanced with Coquelin and Santi in it, because everytime Coquelin won the ball it was always very easy for him to find Santi. And when he passed the ball to Santi, he would calmly but effectively transition to attack immediately. That tactic was simple yet highly effective.

We changed the way we played, especially against the big boys (Manchester city, Bayern Munich et al). We could concede possession and then hit with the counter attack anytime we won possession back. Santi was the engine oil to our new found way of playing against the big clubs, because he made it work so well.

Anytime we won back possession around our 18 yard box, Santi was almost always there to dribble the ball out and through the first opposition press, by which time his teammates would have moved into position. And he almost never misplaced a pass. Our counter-attacks were always quick, precise and effective. When we needed to play the possession game, Coquelin could drop deep knowing that he did not need to join in attack because Santi is capable of handling matters all by himself.

What plans should we make for when we don’t have a Santi Cazorla?

Then we have to choose one of the following options:

a) Re-work our tactics and style of playing.

b) Find another player who is the next best thing to a Santi Cazorla to play the deep-lying CM role.

Personally, I’d suggest we go with option B. However, considering that the number of players in world football who are fit to play this role is indeed very limited, the question then is: Where should we look to get this type of player?

Inside the club, we may look to groom players like Jack Wilshere and/or Gedion Zelalem for the role in the long-term. They have the most potential in my own opinion.

Outside the club, the closest thing to a deep-lying-central-midfield-Santi Cazorla is Thiago Alcantara of Baryern Munich. Others who I think should be most capable of filling that role are Andre Gomes of Valencia, Ilkay Gundogan of Dortmund and maybe (maybe) Miralem Pjanic of Roma (for his excellent range of passing only).

What do you think?

For the sake of this discussion at least, I’ll like to know what’s your answer to the $anti Cazorla question. If you choose option B, who then do you think is the most likely candidate?


Tags Cazorla Coquelin Gomes


  1. With Liecester city winning today they are 8 points away as we know
    And with us beating them home and away this means that the mighty liecester has got 14 points more than Arsenal in the title race.
    A team that has no money to spend and no EPL experience l.
    What a shame!!
    I’m not mad with arsenal but I’m really sad and depressed.

    1. Chelsea/City proved you can spend your way to PL titles. Leicester proving you can do it with spirit/passion/hunger.

        1. that Wenger has no passion, hunger and tactics to win trophies with few financial resources, also even with the financial resources, he has no passion, hunger and tactics. he’s just there making more money. Although Budd could have a different answer

            1. i alaways wondered why the world takes arsenal fanbase for a joke, but by looking at the things you say, i understand now.

              clear case of wengeritus, asselikus.

              1. The world takes AFC fanbase as a joke, would you get a grip pal. Every fanbase hates just about every other fanbase, why bother. Of course people take joyment from others misfortune, that’s life. You using the word world is crazy, one team at end of each comp laughs loudest so I don’t know what the rest of the world is saying because they are either in same boat or worse focking boat. At least we did get an odd FA cup so what the bloody hell is everyone saying without looking home closely enough.

              2. KS-Gunner. You think I cannot see that asselickus is a swearword. It is also an insult. I told you you were on a final warning and this is definitely the last time i’m going to tell you. Just stop taking the piss okay.

            2. Three League titles, six FA Cups (more than any other manager ever even Fergie), one Champions League final, one 49 game unbeaten run in the League and six Community Shields is a LOT to be proud of.
              What have you achieved in your life?

              1. Big teams mesuare their glory with cl and epl. how many of them do we have?

                unbeaten in a time where the epl was a 2 race game between two clubs alone.

                immense strong arsenal, and manure

          1. That is just a blatant insult with no backup whatsoever. With no financial resources Wenger managed to keep us competing and in the Champions League. With the financial resources he brought us more success than the club could ever have dreamed of, including a full season unbeaten.
            You on the other hand insult him for no reason except your personal vendetta.
            Wenger works 18 hours a day to make the club successful and has done for 19 years, while you sit on a keyboard and insult him like you know better how to run the club..

            1. i know where you come from admin, but i would rlly want to know with what name you go on this site, bec if you can tell, i am one of the longest users on this side, and without me it would be rrly boring hearing the same babbling of wenger best, this and that, besides knowing he is a big luckstar.

              i call people by making joks, other do it the wenger way. whats the diff?

              i have no personal vendetta, but if you think that going unbeaten, and bulding a new stadium, and and is all due of one men alone then know, the like your wenger friends, you are in the wrong.

              L. City doing what we could not do proves how overrated wenger is. If he would work day and night for football reason alone he would not risk this golden chance to win the leauge by trying to save some money by ignoring key problems.

              @travel bro, go out and take a wallk and see it for you self. what you explain is a mentality which can be linked to birmingham. i still se arsenal as a big club. Do you think of it as the same?

              1. Chile won the Copa, Panathinaikos won CL, Greece won Euros, it happens. Doesn’t mean Argentina Spain Holland deserve the over the top insults that you dish out.

                1. realise that 20 years with only 3 epl titles, and zero cl is not good enugh. are you afraid that some other manager could do what Ranieri is doing now, or what Di Matteo could do with a poor chelsea?

                  You take the truth as an insult?

              2. If you think swearing and insulting people are a way of making jokes, and if you are blind to what Wenger has done for the club so much that you feel the need to throw unfounded insults simply because Arsenal do not win every game, then I dont care how long you have been using the site.
                So on to your next statement, how many trophies have Birmingham won in the last 20 years. How many Champions League games have they had at St Andrews? How ma FA Cups. If you think Wenger is useless then what does that make the 16-18 managers that finish below him every year?

                1. Swearing and jokes are part of football. Arent you all being a bit to sensetive? The problem with you with me is more due of me aiming much towards Wenger competence.

                  Besides, I am not the one who is comparing small teams to arsenal. The ones who do it are you guys, and you dont even realise it.

                  Wenger is earning almost 9mil a year. He needs to deliver and prove that he is worth the time. If he can not, then he should move on and give someone else a chance to prove himself. 20 years are a long time.

                  1. This is a family site and there is no swearing allowed. In a pub, at a game (not that you’ve ever been to one) then thats fine. But a website that can have visitors of all ages it is not allowed. Its not like you can’t see the GUIDELINES at bottom of every story.
                    If you want to swear and insult go to a website that allows it, but don’t break my rules or you’re out…

                    1. this debate is embarrassing guys I want wenger out I believe his time is up but not now its our time as the fans to rally the boys lets gve the boys heart I don’t like how us fans r showing our discontent if I was around wenger we could’ve already brawled but now more than ever the players need us…sacking someone now is out of the equation it will spell all doom and we might miss out top four coz as it is the players r down ….lets back the team chear lets make them proud of wearing the arsenal jersey we’ve seen this movie but we can hope the ending changes

        2. i did not mean for my statememt to get all the subsequent comments…..
          point i tried to make that inconsistancy can not win u PL. we are too inconsistant because of the nature of our players and the specific tactic that AW uses. We won the FA because its a shorter competetion (number of games). its the kind of competetion that is make it or break it in each game. so mentally, the players can bring their performances up on each game just by thinking that there is no other chance.
          but i agree with admin; this whole descussion has nothing to do with the article so feel free to delete my comments as u see fit.

      1. Everyone saw this coming, you should’ve realized loyalty has a limit otherwise it ends up hurting you.

      2. for us to lift the title we only need to loss one game and draw one then the title is ours now the question is will we?…spurs hve very difficult fixtures I expect them to loss on top 4 as for Leicester they hve one hand on the trophy I see see them lossing 9 points on the remaining game haha so still will be on top of us …don’t know wht pple r forgetting city but they also hve tough fixtures hoping arsenal make us proud…..I hate man u so bad let them finish 7th

      3. We only need 3 more victories than Leicester, and 1,5 more than spuds. Possible, but not likely. All we can do is take one match at a time!

    2. Your article was superb tilly out mess it up when you suggest the name of Wiltshire! !is criminal just thinking that Wiltshire could replace Carzola, they are completely different types of players, one got talento and other is useless, one can dribble and other when he got the ball he goes direct to the opponents and 95%of the time he loose possession of the ball and get injury please when we will learn? Is one player you forgot and this player is Isco, yes Isco he took over Carzola when playing for Malaga and stop with this silly dream that maybe Wiltshire will become 10%what Carzola is,and for all dreamers that think Wiltshire will become a world class player,just wake up and you will find him in the treatment room, yes Carzola is over 30 now,but he will always be better than Wiltshire, you know why? Because he got something that Wiltshire will never have :something called talent

  2. unfortunately cazorla is aging and becoming fragile.
    We could create a team around him with incredible abilities.
    But guys a high probability we are gonna miss out on the title this season so the million dollar question remains will arsene get out of his dreams and hallucinations to realise he is a specialist in failure and decide to call it a day?

    1. hes not a specialist in failure.
      thats harsh

      just peaked a longwhile back an wasnt willing to let go
      suppose 20 years of this club being his life-
      would be hard for anyone to let go of that

      nina bracewell smith should be facing charges for causing the stan takeover
      thats not wengers fault

      1. I heard Wenger recommended her to sell to Kroenke. She said about a couple of years ago, that she really regretted the decision, it was the worst of her life. She believed the club was in safe hands ?!?! An American billionaire ?!?! Must live a sheltered life!

        1. I never heard Wenger recommend, I do recall her saying she regretted it though. I heard Wenger say that he’d prefer Arsenal not to have an owner like Abramovic, and say that Arsenal don’t need Uzmanov to throw money behind because we are self made.

          1. I do recall reading it, but can only find several articles saying that the board recommended her to sell them to Kroenke, but Wenger wouldn’t go against the board.

          2. Everybody says it’s Wenger who is stingy that’s the problem, but he wasn’t THAT stingy before Kroenke arrived. The most telling thing was when Nasri gave his interview, saying that Kroenke had told Wenger that he had to sell Nasri to MC.

  3. Cazorla was really looking suspect in the last few games before his injury. It wasn’t the Santi Cazorla of last season. Yes, we certainly need a player with those characteristics, preferably, a player who’s a bit more physical than Cazorla is. I don’t think Wilshere is ideal for that role though, as he’s often easily dispossessed in the central areas often resulting in dangerous situations for the team. In my opinion, a fit and in-form Abou Diaby could have played that role perfectly.

    1. Apparently we were in for him in January but Zidane said no because the were still pending the transfer ban decision. Also I read the same for Saul Niguez of Atletico Madrid and then Tiago got injured and Simeone said no as well with the ban also pending. Read Wenger wanted Saul Niguez before Elneny but I don’t know how true all that was…

      1. Current reports are saying Isco and Kroos are up for sale this summer while Arsenal have seriously entered the race for Saul Niguez with Utd.

        1. its so pointless this transfer talk.

          wengers smartest move would be to bring a coach in.
          fergie done it..is it so bad to share the load?

          hes hindering arsenal, no transfer buys will fix us being bottlers.

          be our manager- just ask for help dammit

          1. No Muff wenger has some good ideas but he didn’t bring players the players to this
            With a striker like higuain and any backup for coquelin when he was injured would have secured tge title
            But he just wants to be the hero and prove him self right and the fans go f### them selves

  4. santi is an excellant player…no doupt. But i dont like to say that our team can’t manage a certain tactic without him. If this was indeed the case, then we are much weaker than i thought.

  5. No offence dude but describing what type of player Cazorla is to a bunch of Gooners is a little strange, and in great detail too. It’s a bit like telling us that we are also known as the Gunners.

  6. Admin is clearly an AKB and every fan is entitled to their opinion however his biases are getting in the way of what could actually be a pretty decent forum. Allow the banter…fans are angry and rightly so.

    1. Just by calling me an AKB you are betraying your own prejudices!
      Banter is fine, swearing and insults are not allowed. I am sick of saying this. And calling me an AKB is also an insult in your eyes. This is the problem. I have been an Arsenal fan for 45 years and I have supported them whatever manager is in charge. Obviously SOME people think you can support the club but hate and insult the owners, manager, players and other supporters. I have ALWAYS allowed every opinion if put in a polite and intelligent manner, but lately these slogan-filled fanatics have been trying to take over the site for their own agenda. I am not an AKB, I am not an AOB, and most ARSENAL fans are not either. We just want the club to do well. No need to insult and swear at everyone along the way. Not on my site anyway…

  7. I don’t want to give answer to cazorla question….I juz want to ask how wenger get his name ARSENE?

    1. Arsène is a masculine French given name. It is derived from the Latin name Arsenius, the Latinized form of the Greek name Ἀρσἐνιος (Arsenios), which means “male, virile”.

  8. I have supported Arsenal for 65 years (since I was 10). It saddens me to read so many destructive comments from some who call themselves fans. During my 65 years I have experienced many highs and many lows, but I always try to be positive in my comments, even when I’m being critical.
    Whilst I have criticized Mr Wenger on numerous occasions for lack of spending, tactical naivety etc I have nevertheless enjoyed many, many years of watching great football. I admit to being a purist where football is concerned and feel privileged to admire our quality of football under this manager. Whilst winning trophies is very important, appreciating the finer points of the game for me is equally important. Football is, after all, entertainment. Can anyone convince me that watching Stoke City under Tony Pulis, for example, was entertaining?

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